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BOY, OH BOY, DID THEY COME TO PLAY. By they, I mean the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were able to stay with the Warriors for all of regulation. Unfortunately, JR Smith committed a blunder, which I will get into later, that would ultimately cost them the game. The Warriors won 124-114, but there is a much larger story behind that score.
In the first quarter, like I said, they played really well. They even ended the quarter with a 30-29 lead. LeBron ended with 14 points and it almost felt like they had a chance. Then, you realize… it is still the Warriors. A good first quarter, but we were all still waiting for the Warriors to get back in it.
The second quarter comes around and it stayed a close game. At the end of the first half it was tied 56-56, but thats only because the Warriors close the quarter strong and Steph Curry hit a 32 foot three at the buzzer. As a fan (of the NBA, not the Cavs), it felt like the Cavs were doomed. The Warriors, for whatever reason, are an atom bomb in the third quarter, and the Cavs did not have a large enough lead to survive it.
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The run started early, as the Warriors started the third quarter on a 10-3 run. However, the Cavs made shots and stayed right there in the game, because a basketball team can do all things through LeBron who strengthens them. Even after a 14-5 run by the Warriors, hey ended the quarter 84-78, and with a legendary fourth quarter from LeBron, they still had a chance.
Thats exactly what they got, as LeBron had 12 points, and saw a pass that would set up a dramatic ending. He zipped in a pass to George Hill who was open in the paint, and, since the Warriors don’t like open layups, Klay Thompson fouled him. It was a clear foul, and the Warriors were in the bonus so it gave the Cavs two free throws, down 106-105. George Hill hit the first, but missed the second one, tying it up. JR Smith got the rebound and… tried to dribble out the clock! Smith, thinking the Cavaliers were up a point, dribbled out to the three point, not realizing they needed a shot, somehow. He eventually realized, but they couldn’t get up a good shot. This picture basically says it all.
Overtime came around and the Cavs were just emotionally defeated, and it showed. They started 0-4 from the field, and the Warriors ended up taking an 11 point lead and that was all she wrote. The feeling for all of overtime was that what JR Smith did may resonate for much longer than overtime. The Warriors won OT 17-7 and the game 124-114.
Someone compared this game to the Game 1 of the Houston-Orlando series from 1995 NBA Finals, and boy is it a good comparison. JR Smith ruined, perhaps, the one chance the Cavs had to snatch the momentum they needed. Now, it’s not impossible that the Cavs can recover from this game and make this a series. However, it feels like this was their shot, and it just feels like they squandered, and wasted a legendary a 51 point performance from LeBron. He may be the GOAT, but man, it looks like its going to be hard for the rest of the series. I may be wrong, but, after what we saw tonight, I think a sweep might be coming.
I am a sports nerd, who also loves movies, television, and podcasts. I apologize for the bad jokes, which there will be many of.